Moonroof vs. Sunroof: Is There a Difference Between the Two Roof Types?

Moonroof vs. Sunroof: Is There a Difference Between the Two Roof Types?


In the start, no automobiles had roofs. Then the newfangled machines gained folding canvas tops, some with clear aspect curtains. Then Cadillac turned the primary producer to supply fully enclosed factory bodywork. Before lengthy, people have been in search of one thing in-between. Europe answered the decision with canvas- or metal-covered roof openings and the patented Pytchley sunroof mechanism within the 1920s. Hillman even supplied a sliding roof panel with glass home windows on it on the 1933 Aero. Today, sunroofs, moonroofs, panoramic roofs, T-tops, or targa tops are extensively accessible on most new automobiles, every providing one thing in between a set roof and a full convertible. Here’s how one can inform the 2 best-known variations—moonroofs and sunroofs—aside:

Are a Moonroof and a Sunroof the Same Thing?

In frequent parlance right now, sure. Semantic historians will regale you with tales of how a “sunroof” was historically an opaque panel, usually of metallic or canvas, and that Ford advertising and marketing whiz John Atkinson coined the identify “moonroof” to confer with the elective roof conversion (carried out by American Sunroof Corporation) launched on the 1973 Lincoln Mark IV, which changed the metallic panel with a silver-tinted tempered-glass one and a sliding inside sunshade to dam the sunshine totally if desired.

The florid advert copy learn, “When open, you see the Moon and it sees you, but when closed only you have the view.” So, traditionally no, they don’t seem to be the identical. Sunroof means no gentle or air when the roof is closed (consider a sunshade); moonroof is a glass sunroof you may look by way of. But right now virtually no one sells automobiles with an opaque movable “sunroof,” so the phrases are used interchangeably.

Which Is Better, a Sunroof or Moonroof?

A glass panel paired with a completely opaque sunshade gives the best utility in providing full gentle and wind when totally opened, brighter ambiance and a view of tall buildings or mountains with the outer panel closed and the sunshade open, and the choice of no gentle in any respect when the solar is immediately overhead. Direct high-angle sunshine may cause complications for some folks, so be cautious of automobiles like most Teslas, which supply mounted glass roofs with no choice of a sunshade in any respect, or automobiles like some Volkswagens and Minis that provide glass roofs with mesh-like sunshades that also admit a number of gentle.

What Are the Different Types of Moonroofs and Sunroofs?

Built-in roofs usually provide the choice of elevating the rear of the panel to vent or exhaust air out of the inside, or sliding the panel totally open, stowing the panel between the roof and the headliner.

Spoiler roofs provide the identical pop-up vent choice, however when opening, it stays above the roof because it slides again.

Pop-up roofs merely pop up on the again to vent and in some circumstances enable the complete panel to be eliminated and saved. These have been well-liked within the aftermarket.

Lamella roofs function quite a few glass or opaque panels that may vent after which slide again like a set of horizontal Venetian blinds. The Mercedes ML-Class and Pontiac G6 supplied lamella roofs, however the design proved problematic for each.

Panoramic roofs usually provide no less than a view out if not open air above each the entrance and rear seats. The Lincoln MKZ’s giant glass spoiler-type Panoramic Retractable Vista Roof ($2,000) slides all the way down to cowl the rear window.

What Are the Pros and Cons of a Moonroof or Sunroof?

Pros: Sunshine lifts folks’s spirits, as can contemporary air, and the quantity of each that finally ends up being admitted through a sunroof or moonroof is much less more likely to burn pores and skin and muss hair than what you get with a full convertible. Except within the more and more uncommon case of canvas examples, a sunroof/moonroof is usually safer/theft-resistant than a canvas convertible high. And a inflexible panel like a sunroof/moonroof is simpler to seal than extra elaborate T-tops, targa tops, and convertibles.

Cons: The glass panel, seals, drain tubes, body, tracks, motors, and mechanisms all add noticeable mass up excessive within the automobile. This raises its middle of gravity, which has a deleterious impact on automobile dealing with. The mechanism to function sunroof/moonroof designs usually find yourself impinging on inside headroom. (Spoiler and lamella designs don’t usually rob headroom.)

How Much Does a Sunroof/Moonroof Cost?

Manufacturers continuously bundle choices, making it tough to know precisely what particular person gadgets value, however determine the worth add is usually within the $1,000 vary for a brand new moonroof (which is what most of them are right now). Panoramic roofs can double that worth or extra. Although sunroofs and moonroofs will depreciate together with the automotive, merely having one could make a used automobile simpler to promote. And when you’re within the used automobile market, it’s nonetheless doable to have an aftermarket sunroof put in in an current automobile. These pop-up/detachable panels can value $300 to $800 to put in however usually tend to leak, rust, or expertise different issues than a factory-installed unit.

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